Many dreams of establishing their own business or at least being the masters of our own time and the captain of our ship. But, we are often caught in the wheel of daily work and life. However, some break free and make a conscious effort to do so, and what better place to pursue your entrepreneurial business than the United Arab Emirates.
You can either start your own business, i.e., be a sole proprietor, or you can be a freelancer. Freelancing is becoming more common in the UAE, particularly with the younger generation. The initiatives by government authorities are different cost-effective freelance options issued by various free zones in the UAE, makes freelancing the most-sought after business.
So, what exactly do freelancers do?
Freelancers are professional individuals who are not permanently employed in any particular company. They are independent workers, who usually perform different creative jobs in the areas of art, sport, personal development, photography, media, or education. It is not difficult to become a freelancer if you have the right skill sets and are good at what you do.
Freelancing in the UAE
To work as a freelancer in the Emirates, one needs a residence visa and a valid freelance work permit/license. Now you must already be having a residence visa if sponsored by your spouse or parent. But if you are not, you can apply for it from a particular free zone authority. The free zones that presently offer a freelance permit are - Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Design District, Dubai Production City, Abu Dhabi’s twofour54, and Fujairah Creative City, Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone Authority or RAKEZ, and Ajman Free zone. There is a requirement for this freelance permit option, and it is only obtainable for people working in the fields of media, education, or IT.
Top Freelancing Professions in the UAE
Here are the primary freelancing professions booming in the Emirates
- Web development and designing
- E-learning and Guest Lecturing
- Copy-writing and guest blogging
- Sales & Marketing
- Graphics Designing
- Mobile App Development
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Computer-Aided-Design and 3D Modelling
- Language translation and interpretation
- Legal services
Let us understand the benefits of being a freelancer in the UAE
Benefits of a Becoming a Freelancer in the UAE
Few advantages provided for having a freelancing job in the UAE are –
- Flexibility to work anytime from anywhere
- Gain Self-Sufficiency
- Work-life Balance
- Lower the expenses and raise the Profit
- Option to carry out multiple projects simultaneously
- Building one’s own Brand
- No Office Space Required
How to Obtain a Freelance License in the UAE?
The steps to obtain a freelance permit in the UAE is simple and straightforward. Here they are –
- Choose the free zone where you want to obtain your license from and apply there
- You have to then submit an application for interim approval along with a business plan, reference letter, and a valid passport copy
- If your application is accepted, you will receive a customer confirmation letter from the respective free zone authority
- Sign the confirmation letter and resubmit along with the other documents specified above for final approval
- Make all payment such as the freelance license fee, employee visa sponsorship fee and first instalment for rent or office space (optional) and other charges
- Sign the Freezone Sponsorship Agreement and obtain the Freelance Permit along with the freelance visa
- On getting all the certifications and clearance, you can avail the Flexi-desk & business amenities within the Freezone and start your Freelance business in the UAE legally.
- Passport Copy
- Passport-size photo
- Updated CV
- Two professional references (with contact details)
Freelance Visa Dubai Cost
There are separate costs for the freelance permit, establishment card and freelance visa.
- Freelance permit (valid for 1 year): AED 7,500
- Establishment card (valid for 1 year): AED 2,000
If you are applying for the freelance employment visa in Dubai (valid for three years) within the UAE:
- AED 4,960 (Normal)
- AED 6,340 (Express)
If you are applying for the freelance employment visa in Dubai (valid for three years) outside the UAE:
- AED 3,330 (Normal)
- AED 3,900 (Express)
Please note that the above cost for the freelance employment visa includes charges for your medical test, visa stamping and Emirates ID.
These simple steps can make you an official freelancer in the UAE. If you feel that you don’t want to go through the hassle of obtaining this license, then you can hire a business consultant like Commitbiz, who will be able to get this license for you.
We at Commitbiz are well-versed with the legal proceedings in obtaining the license and can make this process hassle-free. Contact us today for more information.